How do you drive users to online delivery?
Today, online deliveries are a cost effective and hassle free alternative to going out. No waiting, effective and secure payment, and a lot of laziness. But it's hard to create a steady source of growth in users for a menu-aggregator website, because at the core of it, an online delivery is a solo affair. No one brags about their recent online delivery from Dominoes. Therefore, users do not discover restaurants around them, as they aren't bothered looking at search results they were already not interested in. So how does one make online deliveries a more user centric rather than utitlity centric affair? We can assume that:
- A regular user would try out a new restaurant that was recommended by his friends/family. Seeing someone you know using an app is the most significant factor for trying the app out.
- A user desires a fast and simple platform to create and order a menu, with a user interface which helps, and doesn't hinder him. The process should be effortless.
- Users often do not know what food they want. They might want to try new food, but do not know what to order. They won't be bothered with checking out reviews for each restaurant in their ordering radius.
Simple is designed with this in mind. Its a web application that looks great on mobile and even better on a computer.
This is the homepage:
You simply type your address in and it shows menus created by users around you. This data is stored on a CDN (Content Delivery Network) which makes it super fast and simple to use.
There are some dummy menus created at the address Fourth Street, San Francisco. Searching for it yields results below in a fashion similar to the Facebook newsfeed, albeit with a couple of cool CSS tricks. The address is geocoded almost instantly and adaptive, so although the orders were made at Fourth Street, if a user has an address of Fifth street, close enough locations will show up as well.
To order, you can just click on any of the menus and click on the order button. Any menu you like, created by people living around you. This page updates with new orders in real time. It looks cool. Each menu has it's own page. This menu makes it easy to see the menu made and share the menu. Each menu has a distinct URL (address). This means you simply copy the URL of any menu and can share it with people you know. Also, the site attempts to have a clean and minimalist look. Thus, it does not load any social plugins or widgets. Any sharing is done at the sole discretion of the user. This is in recognition of three things:
- Something like an online delivery will benefit greatly from direct person to person sharing, like a brother to his sister, not taken seriously by someone who sees a tweet by an acquaintance about an awesome menu he created. A college kid sharing it with his room mate or friends is much more effective, as it also ensures geographical proximity to a certain degree.
- To improve website speed. Social widgets take user data, so they add to load times of the website.
- The menu publishing is anonymous, which caters to people not wanting to create accounts, just order food, and not worry about people judging their diets. Integration with delivery.com accounts is coming soon!
You can also simply create your own order. The page to create your own menu is fast and looks good. The page is broken up into a window with the search results for your location. Behind it is a Google Map of all the places around you marked. It adds a modern look without taking screen real estate.
To appreciate the application, you need to try it out yourself. Go to the website and click on "Make your Own Menu", and search for a location which is supported by delivery.com APIs. You will see that the map is created simultaneously while the merchants are loaded. This adds to an extremely different experience which creates an illusion for a lesser load time. Try it out, and you'll see what I mean.
Ultimately, I attempted to create an application that is fun to use and easy to share. It's simple elements inspired the name "Simple", and am proud of the web design, as well as heavy lifting done by the application behind the scenes. Trending menus and each menu looks great on a mobile device and phones with the latest browsers can see animations as well.
Notes: I am still completing the ordering process but as the cart is already stored it is not too hard. Also, making your own order is unsupported from phones, because it is something a user can do directly from the delivery.com app or mobile web instead.